Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Need Identification plus One Weird Plant per Year

I added these photos to help with the identification. I thought plant in the first photo which has now bloomed was the Anemonella thalictroides because the leaves looked similar but the flower sure doesn't resemble A. thalictroides. In fact the flower resembles the one people think is the A. nemorosa.

The other two photos are of the A. nemorosa? today. Anonymous wanted to see the back of the flower and as one of my books indicated it has no calyx. The sepals are the petal like structures. I thought it could also be a A. rivularis but the leaves are much more deeply cut and irregular on A. rivularis. So the search goes on.

All right you plant identification experts par excellence I need help IDing a couple of plants. These plants appeared in shady areas of our yard and I don't know what they are. They are quite tiny but interesting.

This flower popped up through a bunch of crocus leaves. I know we didn't plant it and so far I see only a solitary plant. I have no idea what it is. Interestingly the petals appear in two layers in groups of three so this may be a clue in identification.

This one appears in three locations. One was under a Japanese maple I planted a year ago where I removed a large Japanese maple that was misshapen so I know I didn't plant it. Besides, this plant is exceedingly small only a couple of inches tall and I don't think I would plant such a tiny flower. I will add a picture of the flower as soon as it opens.

Now the weird ones. Each year we seem to acquire one strange looking plant. This year we found two. Actually the second is not all that weird but rather strange the garden center would try to sell a plant with sparsely spaced small flowers. But they sold it to us! So what does that say about us? I guess we had our sucker shirts on that day.

#1. This is a petal-less flower. I guess a plant equivalent of a hairless dog or cat. I liked the red bulls-eye in a dusky yellow surround. A fun flower and not so gaudy as to be garish. This is a Peek a Boo plant, Spilanthes oleracea aka, Toothache Plant, Eyeball Plant. Here's some information from the Magnolia Gardens Nursery website: "This annual is used in salads because of it’s pepper like flavor, and is also chewed for toothache because of it’s anesthetic properties, this is how it gets it’s other common name of Toothache Plant."

#2. This is supposed to be some kind of cloud plant. Well, the name is actually, Euphorbia 'Sliver Fog'. What a high falutin' name for a rather plain plant. Well again, we bit so they had our number. Silver Fog indeed...fogged our eyes and brain.

Since we're into weirdness, guess what this is?


Blogger Entangled said...

I'm coming up blank on your mystery plants. The first one looks familiar, but no name comes to mind.

I think the Euphorbia will get a lot bigger. I've lately seen a lot of this type of Euphorbia as a filler in container plantings.

I must not have had enough caffeine yet. The bottom picture looks like split stems of dandelion flowers?

5:45 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled,
Well, the caffeine must have partially kicked in. They are stems of dandelions. In the damp morning yesterday I saw the bare sepals standing straight out horizontally like they were the actual flowers. I picked a few to photograph but within an hour the sepals had all curled down flat against the stems in the normal position we see them. But the stems which I stuck in a glass of water curled into these interesting spirals. So not one to waste any picture with even the merest semblance of being interesting, there it is.

Like you I find the first flower to be vaguely familiar but have no idea what it could be.

5:56 AM  
Anonymous The County Clerk said...

Sadly, I do not know. I can't BELIEVE it.

That last photo is cool. Those are dandelions?

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Tabatha said...

They look familiar to me as well, but I have no clue what they are. I usually take my plant id issues to they have a plant id forum that is full of people that can id plants in seconds!
the rest of the pics are great as well!

9:09 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Hank,
Yep they're dandelion stems. I guess when I put them in water some of the stems were slightly split. The inner parts must have soaked up more water and expanded while the shiny outer skin is probably impervious to water and doesn't expand so it curls that way. Surprisingly very tight curls too like a wound watch spring.


Hello Tabatha,

I should post it to the Garden Web plant ID forum. I forgot about that. Thanks for the suggestion and for stopping by.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Ki, could the first plant be an anemone? Yesterday afternoon, I dug up some Japanese anemones and noticed how similar the foliage is. Then later I was reading Don's post about his wood anemones - I didn't know there were so many. Something about that 3-parted leaf now makes me think anemone.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Sarah Laurence Blog said...

Your dandelions are acting like fiddleheads, but you can't eat them. Still, both make me smile. Nature is full of humor. Happy May Day!

5:07 AM  
Blogger IBOY said...

Your anemone is, I think, a mountain anemone (also called lance leafed anemone)... they are not native around here, so I've not actually seen one in person, but have trifoliate, evenly toothed leaves... sounds like yours.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled, Thanks for alerting me to Don's posts. I did see the earlier small yellow anemone but didn't make the connection.

The one in my photo appears to be different than any of Don's. The leaves are fuller but I agree, I think it must be some kind of Anemone. Now to find out what kind. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Hi Sarah, can eat dandelions but not the stems ;) I was going to try some of the abundant ones growing in our yard but never got around to doing so but I saw some in the supermarket one day and decided to try it. I do like food with a touch of bitterness but the dandelion greens were a bit too strong and off putting.

I do like to eat bracken but I found out they contain carcinogenic compounds so it is recommended that people not eat them anymore.

It is May day! Thank you for the greeting and the same to you.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Don,
Somehow I thought you'd know ;) Thanks for the ID. I will look it up.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Well the mystery plant has been identified so that leaves me to comment on your Eyeball Plant: really weird but in a good way.;-) Must try to find one here too.

11:40 AM  
Blogger joey said...

I believe the first is a Wood Anemone, Ki. I have many both in my garden here and up north. I love the Peek-a-boo, which I also own and plant in a pot with a silly crazy corkscrew plant that I adore and don't know the name of. Each year, something a bit funky has my name on it ... a topic for conversation that fits my quirky moods.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Ha! Joey, you too eh. Gotta have some weirdness to set things in perspective. Have you tried eating the plant? I guess you would eat the leaves. Might be just the thing for one of your gourmet meals ;)

Thanks for confirming the ID. A wood anemone is a native plant I believe. I was assuming it was planted with the crocus bulbs the former owner had planted but now I'm not so sure.

The flower on the smaller plant in the third picture hasn't opened yet and the plant remains unidentified but I think it may be a Rue anemone, Anemonella thalictroides. Interestingly the flower petals apparently aren't petals at all. What we see are petal-like sepals!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Opps, sorry Yolanda Elizabet,
I missed seeing your comment. So you like weird too! I guess that makes three of us. Next year I promised myself I would get some Dichelostemma ida-maia or firecracker flower. They aren't exactly weird but the common name is seems to indicate it will be a fun plant.

5:39 PM  
Blogger joco said...

"Anemonella thalictroides", is that the one that I know as Syndesmon thalictroides(Hoffmannsegg)?

In which case, yes. Looks like it. It says in my American wildflower book that the leaves look like those of the Early Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dioicum), even thought the flower doesn't.
good grief, I now have greenfly on my wildflower book. Will these critters stop at nothing?

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plot thickens:
Linnaeus, he say: A.nemorosa can have six petals. Mine don't, but maybe in NJ everything is bigger and better :-)

Can you turn the flower over and verify that the petals are reddish underneath and the calyx is absent? That would clinch it, even though the leaves look a little different from the usual Anemone leaves.

Don't we all love a puzzle.

joco, final time, I promise.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Joco,
fun isn't it?

Now that the flower has bloomed on the smaller plant(I posted a photo) it's not the Anemonella thalictroides I thought, although the leaves sure look like them.

No, no, I can assure you the flower is firmly attached to those leaves and A. nemorosa can have 6, 7 or more petals/sepals.

Hi Anonymous,

One of my botanical books shows A. nemorosa 'Allenii' and 'Robinsoniana' with 6 or more petals. And my other books has a picture of it with 12 petals!

I added a photo of the back and indeed it doesn't have a calyx and the color is a white with slightly greenish tinge. So....any ideas? Thanks for your comment. Everyone's friendly here so please don't remain anonymous.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The entire peekaboo plant is edible but the flowers have the highest concentration of the compound spilanthol or something.

It's good for your gum health, google it, many many people talk about it.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first plant looks like a hepatica to me.
(Call me also "anonymous" but I'm not the same as above. Sorry I don't yet know how to log on properly!)

8:53 AM  

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